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Cayman Turtle Centre releases rescued Cayman parrots at Botanic Park

Local News 06 Oct, 2022 Follow News

Cayman Turtle Centre releases rescued Cayman parrots at Botanic Park

Three Grand Cayman parrots, the national bird of the Cayman Islands, were released into the wild at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park recently. The release was a joint effort between Cayman Turtle Conservation and Education Centre (CTCEC), the Cayman Islands Department of Environment, and the Botanic Park.

Back in June 2021, a clutch of recently hatched nestling Cayman parrots were found abandoned in a fallen nest at the Dart plant nursery in West Bay. The Department of Environment were contacted and in turn requested assistance from the animal care team at Cayman Turtle Centre.

The full-time care of the nestlings was voluntarily taken over by CTCEC’s animal care team who have the expertise and experience in working with breeding and releasing Cayman parrots. Over the past year, the three chicks had grown into robust and healthy specimens of juvenile Grand Cayman parrots and were ready to be returned to the wild.

The three parrot siblings were affectionately named Chonky, Klakker and Slim Jim, and collectively known as “The Brats”.

“Chonky was the smallest of the clutch, with no feathers and eyes not even open yet. She had the strongest appetite and was fondly nicknamed ‘Chonky’ as she would still be ready to eat even when her crop was full. She is the shyest of the three and continues to be the most playful.” Mr. Geddes Hislop, Curator, Terrestrial Exhibits & Education Programmes at CTCEC, said.

“Klakker got his Danish nickname from DOE Officer Jane because he tends to scream if anything comes close to him. It took him a while to settle down and allow the other parrots to play with him. He can be distinguished by his red underbelly. He loves green beans and enjoys spending time right alongside his brother, Slim Jim.”

“From day one, this one parrot had a habit of stretching his neck upwards for food and was nicknamed ‘Slim Jim’. He is the bravest of the three and is the first to explore anything new. He has become the dominant parrot of the trio and the other two tend to follow his lead.” Mr. Hislop continued.

After a period of quarantine, and preparation for their integration into the wild, the trio were released at the QEII Botanic Park on Saturday 1st October. Spectators gathered in the Children’s Garden to witness as they were released one at a time and flew off in a colourful display towards the nearest poinciana tree.

The Cayman parrot was declared the national bird of the Cayman Islands in 1979. There are two different species of Cayman parrot, the Grand Cayman parrot and the Cayman Brac parrot, which is similar but smaller.

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